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Char Siu

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Char Siu

Meat
Category
Meat

Normal
Difficulty
Normal

Total Time
Total Time
Prep 06 H 00 M / Cook 40 M

Servings
Yield
2 Servings

Grace Teo
Grace Teo   thegraceteo
Published on November 25, 2013

  Based on 3642 ratings  Watch Now

Ingredients

1 tbsp
water
1 tbsp
honey
1 tbsp
soy sauce
2 tbsp
hoisin sauce
0.5 tsp
sesame oil
0.5 tsp
five spice powder
1 tsp
rose wine  
1 tsp
dark soy sauce
1
garlic clove(s)
1 cube
red tofu (fermented)  
170 g
pork

Background

Char siu or Chinese barbecued pork is one of the most delicious meat dish. Authentic char siu is made with particular pork cuts marinated with a mixture of sauces, condiments and aromatics. The meat is then glazed and roasted using the marinade which plays the most important role in resulting a perfect piece of char siu. However, choosing the right pork cuts also makes a difference to the taste.

Why is char siu red?

In many Hong Kong, Singaporean or Malaysian restaurants, char siu has a hint of redness to it. It comes from the red food colouring to give it a nice shade. The red tone causes the char siu to be reddish around the edges and is visible when it is cut into slices. For a natural shade of colouring, red fermented tofu is used instead in this recipe.

Which pork cut is best for char siu?

Depends on your preference. The best cut to use is the pork butt which is also known as boston butt located on the back of the pig, just behind the head. Pork butt is popular for making char siu as it contains a good amount of marbled fats and connective tissues. When grilled or roasted slowly, the fats and connective tissues melt resulting in delicious flavours.

Pork belly on the other hand results in a more fatty char siu. If you are looking for leaner char siu, go for pork loin which has less fat.

Char siu over charcoal grill or in oven?

In this recipe, I used the oven to roast the char siu but it would be best if you barbecued it over a charcoal fire. The smoky flavour would further enhanced the taste of the meat.

For me, the best part of the char siu are the edges that are slightly charred during the roasting process. These makes the meat more fragrant. As it roasts in the oven, the honey mixture is absorbed creating a layer of sweet and savoury coating on the meat, thus making it lips-smacking good.

The best dishes with char siu

Char siu may be eaten as it is or together with wan tan noodles or rice. Enjoy this dish with some pickled chilies or chili garam if you need a spicy dip.

Char Siu is also known as: Char SiewChinese Roasted BBQ Pork叉燒

Steps

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Step 1/4

  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 0.5 tsp sesame oil
  • 0.5 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp rose wine  
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove(s)
  • 1 cube red tofu (fermented)  

Mix honey, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, five spice powder, rose wine and dark soy sauce. Then, add the sauce mixture into a pan. Cook at low heat until sauce thickens. Then, add fermented tofu and crushed garlic to the marinade. Mix well.

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Step 2/4

  • 170 g pork

Lightly poke the pork shoulder using a fork. Place pork in a bowl or a zip lock bag and add the marinade. Make sure that the pork is well coated. Leave pork to marinate overnight.

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Step 3/4

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Place marinated pork on a tray and cover with a piece of aluminium foil. Remove the aluminium foil after 15 minutes and glaze the pork with the excess marinade.

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Step 4/4

Increase heat to 250 degrees Celsius and let the pork cook for 15 minutes. Glazing the pork again and let it cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Cut char siu into slices before serving.

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